I can't hide my disappointment resulting from the Hokies season, and I'm sure you can't either. That doesn't mean I love the Hokies or the game any less. As long as they keep playing, I'll keep watching. As you know, because of a bye week and back-to-back Thursday night games, Tech won't play on Saturday until mid November. So, it's on the rest of the nation to entertain us. I'm energized and ready to sit on my ass the next two weekends and watch the wheat be separated from the chaff. Buckle up and let's enjoy some quality football.
Seventy-three-year-old Bill Snyder is a BAWSE. This is the second time he has made K-State into a top 10 power. I have much respect for his ability to turn JUCOs, and two- and three-star nobodies into good football players. Collin Klein was a little thought of QB recruit turned WR by RonP, now he's the Heisman frontrunner. That's a pretty remarkable turn of events as he likely rides the pine for 90% of the other FBS schools. It probably took Snyder 10 minutes to figure out Klein's potential. Bill Snyder in this whiz-bang high scoring football world still knows ball control offense and sacking up on defense can still win a lot of games. If "Everything Old is New Again" is accurate, there is hope for VT to rebound.
Cincinnati at Louisville -3.5 8:00 pm ESPN
Rival Battle for the Keg of Nails
Top flight rivalry trophy
A Big East game! It must be near Halloween!
Trick: Cincinnati just lost to Toledo, a (really good) MACtion school
Treat: UC is still more than capable of knocking off the Cards
Trick: Most of the Big East isn't very good
Treat: The top 3 (with Rutgers) however are quite good, led by Louisville. The Cardinals are an under the radar and have a very good chance to go through the season unscathed.
Trick: They'll still get no respect
Treat: Head Coach Charlie Strong has rebuilt the program behind a very good defense, an elite, athletic quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, and two good running backs. Reminds me a lot of VT in the days of old.
Pick: Louisville covering. The Cards are better on defense and offense while playing a night game at home.
Texas Tech at Kansas State -7.5 3:30 pm FOX
I am as excited to watch this game as I am the Cocktail party. The nicknames of the quarterbacks are outstanding, "Optimus Klein" and "Teach me how to Doege." Along with OU, these two teams are the most balanced in the Big 12 in terms of offense and defense. KSU, Snyder and Klein get all the press, but Texas Tech has become a Cinderella story as well. Thought of as Big 12 roadkill before the season, the Red Raiders have only lost once at the hands of Oklahoma. Coach Tuberville has kept the high octane Air Raid offense, infusing more running and now a lot better defense to along with it. QB Seth Doege might not be Geno Smith in terms of numbers, but 2,200 yards passing at 70% completion clip, and 28 touchdowns means he can ball. If Tech wins this game, the last month of the Big 12 season becomes a wild 3 team race. K-State is the better team, but now they are the hunted and have to stay focused as any team in the Big 12, save Kansas has the tools to give them a loss.
Pick: Texas Tech and the points, I think it will be really close with the Wildcats winning, but TT outright, would not surprise me.
Florida -6.5 vs Georgia 3:30 pm CBS
The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party
Top flight arm trophy
Let's be real, we can almost ink a Florida win in here and it has nothing to do with who is playing better right now. I know Georgia won the game last year, which gives them 4 wins in the last 22 tries vs the Gators. I keep thinking the dawgs will reverse the trend and that the results from 5 or 10 years ago mean very little now ... except inexplicably it does matter. The talent and coaching are very similar year in, year out, but the Jorts win 80% of the time. Even when coaching clearly favored UGA, like the Ron Zook years, the dawgs lost 2 out of 3. Call it an aura, swag, confidence, whatever, we know which team has and will prove it on Saturday. If you're a UGA fan, the only reason to go to Jacksonville is peep scantily clad women in Blue and Orange and laugh at Gator bros in jorts. That's it. Dawgs, you can get shitfaced in Athens and look at the local talent while also saving yourself the walk of shame out the stadium.
Pick: Florida laying the points and winning by a lot more than a touchdown over the dawgs. The two teams have taken the identity of their coaches and that's not good if you a dawgs fan.
Ohio State at Penn State -PK 5:30 pm ESPN
A lot of coaches have done remarkable jobs this year, from Snyder to Riley to Kelly, but Penn State coach Bill O'Brien needs a shout out as well. The program was spinning out of control, the sordid Sandsusky details, the destruction of JoePa's legacy, the NCAA hammer and the transfers all led to a poor start. The negative vibe was everywhere, but in the PSU locker room. Who didn't think the Nittany Lions would tank the season and ride out a decade of Hoosier level of football? That hasn't happened yet and it's because Bill O'Brien held them together. Using a rock solid defense and turning Matt McGloin into a good quarterback, O'Brien has made this team believe and gotten them to produce. You know what, good for him and good for the players that stuck around. That's a helluva life lesson to learn.
Pick: tOSU, but I certainly don't feel strong about this pick, especially with electric QB Braxton Miller dinged up.
Notre Dame at Oklahoma -10.5 8:00 pm ABC
This is someone's grandfather
It takes a huge game for Gameday to leave the south. I think this qualifies. There is so much history with these two great programs that it seems odd they have only met 9 times previously. For both to be in the top 10, this is a big deal. I am sure the atmosphere for this game will be off the charts in Norman, reflected by Brent Musberger's voice from the outset. He'll come strong this game, count on it, partner. Expect few points and lots of intensity. I love Notre Dame's defense, they are great up front and play with a nasty edge, but they are about to be tested. This is the first team that can really give the Irish defensive backs the business, if Landry Jones has time. On the other side, you know OU will load the box and dare "Tommy Golson" beat them through the air. Here is a secret, the Sooner defense is really, really good again. This feels like a a low scoring, field position game decided by the team that gets a late break.
Pick: ND getting the points. I don't think the OU offensive line can keep Jones from getting happy feet and making mistakes. This will go down to the wire, Sooner win.
Mississippi State at Alabama -23.5 8:30 pm ESPN
To date, Mississippi State will be the best team Alabama will have played this year. It has a trap game feel to it after last week's rivalry game vs Tennessee, and right before their showdown with LSU next week. It's impossible for any team to play up for every game of the season. Lack of motivation or focus during the week usually is the cause to upsets or ugly wins. Every national champion plays a couple rocky games like those. Why can't this game be the Tide's? Nick Saban, like every coach can preach a lesser team's abilities 'til he is blue in the face, but if the young men aren't receptive, it doesn't matter. The question becomes, do the players believe the Bulldogs are good enough to beat them? If yes, the Tide win pretty easily. If they don't believe it until the 5th play of the game on Saturday ... I wouldn't change that channel.
Pick: Hail State getting the points. Dan Mullen has a grinding, physical clock eating team. I don't think the Bulldogs will win, but they will leave Bama with more bruises than the Tide are accustomed to getting.
Beer of the Week
Lagunitas Brown Shugga' is my choice this week and if you had this treat, get it. From the words of a Beer Advocate reviewer, "Big brown sugar sweetness and bready malt ... citric and piney hops also assert themselves ... finishes with sweet brown sugar and a hint of fruity alcohol, which is well-hidden." That review should sell some of you.
Remember, these picks are against the spread.
nati at 'ville -3.5
Guns Up at K-State -7.5
Jorts -6.5 vs. THWG
theOhio State at Nittany Lions
Fightin' Irish at Boomer Sooner -10.5
Hail State at Bammer -23.5
Keep grindin', even in a Hokie bye week.